WADA welcomes US funding payment after reform package

Montreal (AFP) – The United States has paid its outstanding 2021 dues to the World Anti-Doping Agency in the wake of governance reforms approved at a meeting in Paris last year, WADA confirmed on Thursday.


A statement from WADA said the US Office of National Drug Control Policy had released a $1.3 million (1.1 million euros) payment to complete its total annual funding of $2.9 million to the agency.

"I welcome the decision by ONDCP to release the second tranche of its 2021 annual contribution to WADA," WADA president Witold Banka said in a statement.

"It is a clear demonstration of support by the United States Government for WADA's global collaborative mission for doping-free sport."

The payment had been held up amid ongoing tensions between WADA and US authorities in recent years, with the United States Anti-Doping Agency leading calls for reform of the global doping watchdog.

At a meeting of WADA's Foundation Board in Paris last November, the agency approved a package of reforms aimed at addressing some of the US criticisms.

The reforms include additional seats on the Executive Committee for an athlete representative and an independent member, and on the Foundation Board for athletes and National Anti-Doping Organizations.

The reforms were welcomed by the ONDCP's director, Rahul Gupta, who was confirmed as Washington's drug czar in October after being nominated by President Joe Biden in July last year.

Banka said Thursday his discussions with Gupta in November had been positive, praising the ONDCP chief's "constructive" contributions to the board meeting.

"I look forward to ongoing collaboration with the US Government and all other public authorities around the world," Banka said.